Tuesday, August 2, 2011

That Day in September

By Artie Van Why
New York, Van Hughes Publishing, 2002
84 pages     Memoir

The Shortlist

Recently, Artie Van Why sent me his poignant memoir, That Day in September, a personal remembrance of 9/11.

Van Why worked across the street from the World Trade Center and stumbled out into the street following the first plane crash. In brief chapters, he relates the personal experiences that brought him to that fateful point and the aftermath that caused him to completely change the focus of his life. One reviewer says: “Van Why claims neither hero nor victim status. He's just a man who was shaken to his core and emerged a new, stronger person.”  He closes his memoir thus: “And now as I learn to live for today: I will remember all the goodness that we are capable of, that we displayed to ourselves and to the world. I will believe that those who are gone would encourage us to live.”

The attacks of 9/11 are still fresh in the minds of most Americans, and Van Why’s memoir is haunting. It is my understanding that the episodes in this memoir were incorporated into a one-man theatrical presentation that was presented in 2002 and 2003. One would think that it would be appropriate for the play to be produced again during the commemoration events in September.

I am going to be writing further in September as the country remembers the attacks of 9/11. I will be referring to That Day in September again and in greater length as I relate some of my own experience.

That Day in September can be ordered on Amazon here: You will be as touched as I was.


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